THE Cebu City Council approved the move increasing by P7,000 the annual financial assistance the City Government gives to the persons-with-disabilities (PWDs).
This would mean that the PWDs will get P12,000 instead of P5,000 from the City, hence, making them get the same cash assistance that the senior citizens in the city receives.
If the measure will be approved also by Mayor Michael Rama, the City will have to shell out P144 million annually for this program.
The newly-approved measure authored by Councilor Eugenio Gabuya will benefit around 12,000 PWDs in the city, based on the records of the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS).
“This ordinance aims to help the extra costs PWDs may have because of their impairment,” the ordinance states. It was approved by the legislative body during their March 2 regular session.
The P12,000 cash aid will be given to all qualified PWDs on a quarterly basis.
There was an earlier suggestion from the Organization of Rehabilitative Advocates to categorize the giving of the P12,000 based on the severity of the disability of the concerned PWD.
But it was not included in Gabuya’s ordinance.
“Naka-decide na lang ko nga i-uniform tanan kay pareha ra gud pud sa senior citizens nga wa pud gi-categorize ang paghatag sa ila (I decided to have it equal, just like with senior citizens, their aid is not categorized),” he said.
Based on the ordinance, the PWDs must meet all the qualifications set by the DSWS.
For PWDs who are not registered as voters by reason of their impairment, they can avail themselves of the benefits as long as they will submit a medical certificate issued by the barangay health center and barangay certification stating that the PWD is a permanent resident in the said barangay.
PWDs who are in the City’s payroll and have received their cash aid without failure are qualified to get the increased cash aid unless the City’s validators will find discrepancies on his or her qualifications.
The City, however, will delete those who are in the payroll, but failed to claim their cash assistance for two consecutive times. Although, these people can re-apply with the DSWS.
“PWDs who are reinstated in the payroll, but will commit the same infraction shall no longer be allowed to re-apply for financial assistance,” the ordinance added.
Those applying for the cash assistance should just submit an accomplished application form, a copy of their PWD identification card issued by DSWS and the Persons with Disability Assistance Office (PDAO), original copy of their medical certificate and original copy of their voter’s certificate issued by the Commission on Elections.
The budget for the increased cash aid for PWDs, Gabuya said, should be included in the next supplemental budget of the City.
The ordinance still has to be submitted to the mayor though for approval.